“WOW” might be a word used by many upon their return from this season’s trade shows. Whether you were on the buying side or the selling side of the equation – shows are exciting, invigorating and exhausting, but most importantly they are an invaluable learning opportunity. Take time to share what you learned with your staff.
Inform and enlighten. Take the time to share the learnings from the show, not just what collections you saw, but share some of the display ideas and trends that you think will work in your store. Hopefully you took lots of photos!
Provide support and reassurance to employees. As it is impossible for everyone to attend the trade shows, be sure to reassure the staff that their time and energy holding down the fort was most appreciated and that you could not have attended the show without them. Why not announce a contest for an employee to attend a trade show next year – set goals and guidelines while the excitement is in the air?
Actively engage with employees. Did you buy a new collection at the show or reorder key styles? Assign each employee the task of following up and have them prepare information on the collection or new styles to share with the rest of the staff. Provide feedback and encourage ideas for improvement – especially as they relate to new collections.
Don’t underestimate the value of employee appreciation. Recognizing employees for a job well done is key to establishing trust and loyalty and reducing turnover. 79% of employees cite lack of appreciation as a reason for quitting their jobs. Applaud employee efforts and strong performances, express gratitude on a regular basis and check-in with employees and ask them questions to get their feedback and ideas.
Implement a peer-to-peer recognition program. This type of program is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.
Set time aside for social employee events. Celebrate life achievements, birthdays or other social occasions.
Provide role-specific employee training. Tailoring training to the unique needs of the different roles within your retail business is one of the keys to creating training programs that are not only effective, but also engaging. But why does engagement matter? Well, research from Gallup shows that businesses with a highly engaged workforce display 21% higher profitability and 17% higher productivity than a disengaged workforce.
- Create a training curriculum: Yes, create a plan that everyone can get excited about.
- Training Timeline: Include an overview of the formal training process and a timeline.
- Company Mission and Vision: Help your employees understand why your store is different and special by educating them on your reason for existing, as well as your vision for the future.
- Product Information and Training: Educate your employees on the different collections. It’s key for them to have an in-depth understanding of what they’re selling before they’re on the shopping floor talking to customers. Most brands offer training information and lots of beneficial selling tips – you can also visit savorsilver.com for information on everything from merchandising to jewelry trends and access links to the top silver brands. This is essential for your sales staff. Product-specific knowledge can set you apart from the competition, while also increasing customer satisfaction. Not only that, but positioning yourself as the category expert, and delivering on it, can be a boon for your store’s reputation.
- Employee Roles: Define, explain and even write out each employee’s responsibilities and expectations. This is a good time to talk about workflows and how an employee’s role fits in the overall success of your business.
- Technology Training: Incorporate in-depth training on all hardware/software that’s a part of an employee’s day-to-day. And don’t forget to review the store’s website and what styles and brands are featured.
- Company Policies: Inform employees about workplace best practices, reviews and company policies, such as workplace rules, discounts and dress codes.
Key lesson learned: Employee appreciation is a never-ending process, so consider this your ongoing task as a business owner or manager. Your staff should know that their efforts are appreciated right from the start.
Sometimes it’s all about just saying, “Hey, great job today!”